Description – Silica, or silicon dioxide, is an abundant chemical compound found in sand, rock, and soil. It is a naturally-occurring mineral and is often used in the manufacturing of a wide variety of materials, especially in the construction and manufacturing business.
Risks – When silica and silica dust is continuously inhaled, tiny particles can enter into small air sacs in the lungs leading to a disease known as silicosis. Silicosis is a chronic lung disease, evidenced by the scarring and hardening of lung tissue, which sometimes afflicts workers repeatedly subjected to a work environment in which silica dust is commonplace. People who are exposed to copious amounts of silica dust are at a greater risk of developing lung cancer, tuberculosis, and bronchitis.
Possible early indicators of silicosis include frequent dry coughing, shortness of breath, wheezing, and increasing tiredness. Even without further exposure to silica dust, silicosis will continue to advance. In later stages, an affected person experiences chronic shortness of breath, a steady coughing, loss of appetite, pain in the chest, and general weakness.
Help – If you or a loved one have been exposed to silica dust and are experiencing health problems, you should contact a physician immediately. You may also want to contact an experienced products liability attorney for an evaluation of your legal rights, and an explanation of possible legal remedies for your injuries.